This occurs at the same time that health systems like Mayo and Allina and Health Partners and many others in this state have counted on implementation. The result is opinions such as those expressed by Al DeKruif and the Minnesota Citizens Council on Health Freedom in The Free Press July 13th.
Those who want to see more affordable and accountable care and more competitive health insurance plans and more choice on the part of every health care consumer and patient in Minnesota should come forward with recommendations to improve the new law. Starting with the many employers in this state who obviously have much better ideas than the authors of the law about the tax treatment, the mandate requirement, or the employee role in health plan choice.
Republicans have so far been successful in preventing coverage expansion for 2/3 of the 30 million Americans newly eligible in 27 states. This is a good time for Republicans in Congress to play a positive role in the health reform journey by demonstrating their willingness to improve the new law rather than waging war on its implementation for those who need it most.
I believe we are on the verge of creating a uniquely American health system. One which plays to our innovative and entrepreneurial strengths as a nation. Not to the weakness of partisan polarization which saps our strength just when we need everyone working together toward common goals of healthier people, healthier communities, and a more affordable and accountable, value-based health care system.
David F. Durenberger is a former Republican U.S. senator from Minnesota, a member of the Board of Directors of Allina Health and an instructor at the University of St. Thomas.